What you wear matters. If you want to improve your homemaking, try this experiment and get fully dressed, every day, in something you love. Getting dressed really does change the way you go through your day!
I think I’ve found the secret to being a better homemaker on a daily basis. (One of them, anyway). It’s this: Get dressed, every day, as early as you can, in something you love. I started doing this a few years ago, and now I can’t imagine it any other way.
I remember hearing the career advice to “dress for the job you want, not the one you have.” Sometimes, of course, the job you have is the one you want, but either way, the point is to put your best self forward.
Homemaking is my career. And it’s yours, too. Whatever other roles you play now or in the future (working outside the home, volunteering, running a business from your computer), you are also a homemaker.
Does the way you dress reflect the kind of homemaker you want to be?
If you want to be a homemaker who’s put together, even-keeled, confident in her work, and ready for whatever the day may bring, then dress like her.
You might not feel like that expert homemaker, yet, but I promise you that dressing like one will help you grow into that role.
Dressing up for the workplace shows your respect for others, for yourself, and for the work you do. The same holds true for the way you dress at home. Your family are the most important people in your life–getting dressed shows that you think they’re worth it!
Just as it’s hard to slurp champagne, it’s hard to be a homemaking failure when you look amazing. Dressing up tells your subconscious mind that today is a special day (even if it’s only Monday), and you’ll begin to act accordingly.
As I have learned from wise women more experienced than me, it’s not wrong to embrace self care as a mom or homemaker. In fact, it’s essential. (And now it’s one of the things I want my children to know me for.) When you respect yourself by taking time for your appearance, everything you do will reflect that thoughtfulness.
Besides showing respect for your family and yourself, getting dressed shows that you value your work as a homemaker. And you should!
I love this reminder from C.S. Lewis to a friend in one of his letters:
“I think I can understand that feeling about a housewife’s work being like that of Sisyphus (who was the stone rolling gentleman). But it is surely in reality the most important work in the world. What do ships, railways, miners, cars, government etc exist for except that people may be fed, warmed, and safe in their own homes? As Dr. Johnson said, ‘To be happy at home is the end of all human endeavour’. (1st to be happy to prepare for being happy in our own real home hereafter: 2nd in the meantime to be happy in our houses.) We wage war in order to have peace, we work in order to have leisure, we produce food in order to eat it. So your job is the one for which all others exist…”
I had to look up the reference to Sisyphus. I discovered that he was a king in Greek mythology who was cursed to roll a boulder up a hill for all eternity. Every time he got the boulder up the hill, it would roll back down and he would be forced to start all over.
Yep, sometimes that’s exactly what homemaking feels like! Our work as homemakers never ends, and at times we resent being caught in that infinite loop of meal planning, bathroom cleaning, and diaper changing.
Why bother getting dressed every day? Because your work as a homemaker, mundane as it seems, is worth it.
So try it. Get dressed every day this week, and dress for the job of an expert homemaker. Here are four things to remember:
“Dressed” does not equal sleepwear, or even workout clothes (unless you’re exercising). You can wear something more stylish without sacrificing comfort, though. In fact, I believe you should only wear clothes you’re comfortable in! Also try to include the extras–makeup, if you wear it, and jewelry that complements your outfit. It doesn’t have to be complicated (my makeup routine is pretty minimalist), but make these finishing touches part of your ritual.
It doesn’t matter if you plan to leave the house that day or not. Make it second nature to look good. Getting dressed may very well be a keystone habit that changes the way you see yourself!
…as early as you can…
Don’t let hours slip by before you take time out for your appearance. You want to spend as much of the day in that dressed, ready state as possible. Make getting dressed part of your morning routine. I often like to pick out my clothes the night before as part of my bedtime routine.
…in something you love
It’s hard to do this if your wardrobe is full of junk. The process of decluttering your wardrobe will help you to identify what you love–or hate–about your clothes. Simplify down to just the styles, colors, and fabrics you enjoy, and you’ll find that getting dressed everyday is much easier (and something to look forward to)!
My book, Your Simple Home Handbook, has chapters to help you simplify your clothes, shoes, and accessories so that you can begin to hone in on a wardrobe you love to wear.
P.S. Want more habits of intentional homemakers? Read my post on 8 Things Intentional Homemakers Do Every Day.